The man currently occupying the White House is a deluded liar. There is no real evidence that this is not the case. Not while Trump apparently believes that the entire Mueller investigation was nothing more than an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Democrats with the help of lapsed Republican James Comey, and Republican Andrew McCabe, and Republican Rod Rosenstein, and Republican Robert Mueller, and Republican Peter Strzok.
It’s been a witch hunt, according to Trump.
And Trump is bound and determined to prove it’s a witch hunt by having the Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, analyze the case; and having prosecutor John Durham analyze the case; and having Attorney General William Barr reach out to Australia, and Italy, and the United Kingdom, and travel to Rome to listen to a tape with one Joseph Mifsud; and having Secretary of State Mike Pompeo push out U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after reading a ton of clip-art propaganda provided by Rudy Giuliani; and having Vice President Mike Pence deliver the point to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that we wouldn’t provide his country with $400 million in military aid until it agreed to investigate the supposed DNC server that is somewhere in the hands of CrowdStrike in Ukraine, and also to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden.
Because obviously Democrats have constructed this entire narrative of Russia hacking the DNC and election servers and then leaking the hacked information through WikiLeaks to the Trump campaign.
But the big problem isn’t that Trump believes and is actively functioning as if this is the case. The bigger problem is that this is what his supporters believe to be true.
Clearly Trump himself is psychologically damaged. He is demented. We can see this in his recent interaction at a press event with the president of Finland, during which he dodged the question of what he wanted President Zelensky to do about Hunter and Joe Biden by attacking the reporter who asked it and bullying him into asking a question of the Finnish president, then interrupting and answering the question himself when he did.
All of this behavior of his, all of this bluster, all of these crazed tweets about “civil war” and “treason” are part of an act, one intended to impress and keep his loyal crowd in thrall. As psychologically unwell as he appears, his supporters are even more unwell.
Raw Story reports:
“There’s been so many red lines that have been crossed,” [New York Times writer Peter] Wehner told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You know, in the piece I talk about the psychology of accommodation. That is that people two and a half years ago could never have envisioned themselves to be acolytes of Donald Trump (but) that’s how psychology works.”
“There’s a central thing to think about the Trump presidency, the Rosetta Stone, in a sense, is that he’s psychologically and emotionally unwell,” [Peter] Wehner said. “I think if you don’t understand (that) all that’s unfolded during the course of his presidency doesn’t make sense. But if you understand that, it does begin to make sense.”
“It’s not only the psychology of Donald Trump, it’s the psychology of his supporters, too, of how they have invested in him early on,” he continued. “Once they’ve done that, they got to the point where condemning him would become a condemnation of them, and they couldn’t really do that. I think for all of us who have spent our life in politics, maybe the thing that’s most important now is less politics than psychology.”
“I guess that they never felt that they could take the exit ramp,” Wehner said. “I do believe that the problem, in some respects, is not simply Donald Trump, it’s the base of the party. He has a hold on the party which is almost unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and the Republican members of Congress aren’t fools in the sense that they know that if they speak up against him they will be the target of a vicious campaign.”
The question that wracks my brain is this: When will the base finally say “enough is enough”? When will they reach the breaking point and finally begin to turn back from the abyss? With reports that Trump wanted to build moats around the border wall stocked with snakes and alligators, and that he suggested shooting migrants in the legs, we have to wonder when he will go too far or say too much.
So far, the answer has been that there is no “too much.”
This is no longer a “conservative” party; it’s a party of resentment and grievance, a party of anger and retribution. Republicans long before Trump spent decades stoking these grievances through every outlet that they had access to, on radio, in traditional right-wing media, and on Fox News.
They’ve decided that they, and only they, are the patriotic party. That they are the party of God. That they are the party of the military. That they are the true party of the nation, and that all Democrats are merely socialist interlopers who have truly foreign allegiances. With Trump, they’ve found the purest form of this conceit. Their highest fix.
When I played the video game Battlestar Galactica Online, I had a key member of my flight wing who was a Trump supporter. We spoke frequently, and he explained that he had been an Obama supporter before supporting Trump in 2016. We were both from Los Angeles—I had grown up in South Central, and he had grown up in North Hollywood. I had done all I could to avoid being involved in gangs, but he had been a gangbanger. I began working for a military contractor out of high school, and he had joined the military and was a veteran of both Iraq wars. I later worked in graphics, and he had worked as a welder.
During our many talks I tried often to understand how he had gone from being an Obama voter to voting for Trump, but I have to admit, it was difficult. He was volatile and would grow enraged easily. He admitted to me that he was a Three Percenter, a member of a right-wing militia group that believes that as long as the Second Amendment is upheld and at least 3% of citizens remain armed, the U.S. Army will be unable to conquer them.
The Three Percenters (also styled 3%ers and III%ers) is an American militia movement group whose members pledge protest and armed resistance against attempts to curtail constitutional rights. The organization’s credo cautions against a potentially tyrannical US Federal Government, and has been characterized as being ideologically similar to the Oath Keepers.
The group’s name derives from an oft-repeated but erroneous claim that only three percent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies took up arms against the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolution.
They’re basically wannabe domestic terrorists. I once made the mistake of mentioning the Southern Poverty Law Center to him, and he completely freaked out, quit the wing, and stopped talking to me for several days. Eventually, he got over it and came back.
What was truly amazing was his racial perspective. He was a white guy who had been a member of Latino gangs in North Hollywood, and he completely rejected the idea that he bore any racial animus. But then, after years working as a welder, he once went off on this rant about “white privilege”—supposedly based on Hillary Clinton mentioning it, although I suspect that it was a right-wing meme. He resentfully argued that business owners would hire less-skilled Latinos instead of hiring him and paying him commensurate with his experience.
I did try to make the argument that his problem isn’t the competitive Latino welder, but the business owner who chooses to pay much less for presumably lower-quality work and pocket the difference. The bigot here was the business owner who was lowballing pay for his Latino workers, and not taking into consideration that an experienced welder can do his job far more efficiently, and that the additional cost balances out by getting the job done more quickly and with fewer flaws.
He wasn’t open to that view of things. In my opinion, he provides a classic example of a Trump voter.
Everything for Trump voters is the fault of others. Any of the problems or difficulties they face are the result of the actions of other people. Mexicans. Muslims. Gay people. Democrats. It’s a recurring theme.
Trump is the perfect executor of that view. He is the blamer in chief. Even now he blames the “deep state” for all his current troubles, and there is ample evidence that his fans will believe every word of his obviously insane conspiracy theories. At least 24% of the public will believe him no matter what he says or does.
Nearly a quarter of U.S. voter say that there’s “almost nothing” President Donald Trump could do that would make them support impeachment.
A recently released Politico survey found that support for impeaching Trump is at a new high following Democrats’ move to begin an impeachment inquiry.
The survey also found that 24 percent of voters said they would probably never support impeachment and agreed with the statement that there’s “almost nothing Trump could do that would cause me to support impeaching him and removing him from office.”
So they’re saying there’s a chance that Trump support could be whittled down to just 24% from the current 41% who oppose impeachment.
And the fact is that the primary media outlet for Trump talking points about all this, Fox News, has been in a total uproar, starting with Chris Wallace’s interview of Steven Miller.
Miller baselessly claimed that the whistleblower was “obviously politically biased” for filing the complaint against Trump, who tried to pressure Zelensky into investigating the conspiracy theory that Biden had gotten a prosecutor fired for investigating a company that was connected to his son.
The senior White House aide claimed the whistleblower’s complaint got in the way of Trump “trying to get to the bottom of a gigantic scandal that nobody has unearthed.”
“The president is the whistleblower here,” Miller said. “The President of the United States is the whistleblower.”
Wallace essentially eviscerated Miller. So much so that Rudy Giuliani whined about it.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Giuliani says that he sent Wallace “a long text” telling him that he was “disappointed” in the Fox News host for supposedly “buying” Biden’s explanation for why his actions with regard to Ukraine were not scandalous.
In a related development, Trump-friendly attorney Joe diGenova similarly slammed Wallace after he reported that diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, were working “off the books” to help Trump dig up dirt on the Bidens.
“[Wallace] said that only the president — quoting an anonymous U.S. official, anonymous official — that only the president knew what we were doing,” he said. “First of all, that’s totally false. The president was not involved with any of this.”
Andrew Napolitano has been on Fox News blowing up their shit on the whistleblower case.
In a segment on Tuesday morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade accused Pelosi of malfeasance when it came to the transcript of the president’s phone call with the president of Ukraine based upon an accusation made by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)
Napolitano quickly quashed the charge, saying Pelosi likely knows exactly what is in the actual unredacted transcript which has led her to agree to proceed with impeachment.
“Mrs. Pelosi for years was a member of the House Intelligence Committee,” Napolitano explained. “She still enjoys a top security clearance and she has many, many friends in the intelligence community. It would not surprise me at all if she knew what was in the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky a few days before the rest of us did.”
How much influence will comments such as these, and Kevin McCarthy’s disastrous performance on 60 Minutes, have on the Trump crowd? It’s hard to say, but there seems to be a deep, dark argument going on inside Fox.
On Thursday, Vanity Fair documented “management bedlam” at Fox News as a Tucker Carlson guest attacked legal analyst Andrew Napolitano as a “fool” for backing impeachment of President Donald Trump, Shepard Smith criticized Carlson for not standing up for a colleague, and the network admonished Smith — all while Sean Hannity is privately wringing his hands about the whistleblower scandal and former House Speaker Paul Ryan is advising Lachlan Murdoch to prepare the network for a post-Trump political landscape.
As the Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr noted on Friday, that situation has not gotten any better in the subsequent hours. Hannity publicly blasted the Ukraine investigation as a “never-ending, unceasing, hysteria, lies, hoaxes, conspiracy theories,” and “a real, clear, present danger to this republic,” while news reporter Chris Wallace blasted the “astonishing” and “deeply misleading” narrative that right-wing defenders of Trump have been crafting to excuse his behavior.
All of this, Barr wrote, is exacerbating the long-simmering tensions between the news and opinion side of the network — both of which have a right-wing slant, but the former of which has at least a modicum of fact-checking and traditional investigative journalism.
Like I said, only 24% will never turn on Trump? What about the other 17% when they’re faced with these mixed signals coming even from their beloved Fox News?
It’s not clear at this point, but as more facts come out and more information becomes available, it just might be possible that the scales will fall from the eyes of some of his hardcore supporters, that they will come to the hard realization that Trump has been lying to them this entire time.
And then there’s the issue of what happens to his support in the Senate as his base of support begins to crumble. It could get very interesting in the coming months. His crowd just might find that they need to look at a totally different group to blame.